Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bad(ass) Review: MOBY DICK (LAUNCH!)

Today, I was doing some exhaustive and exhausting research for my WIP -- i.e., "How many pages is Moby Dick?" (Answer: Anywhere from 400-800 paperback, further investigation pending . . .).

This is the only picture I have. You love it.
No, I haven't read it, although I did direct a production of Moby Dick: The Musical, which I'm sure qualifies me as a world-class Dick scholar (the harpooners wear bikinis, right?  And something about cannibals?). Anyway, I do know that this Melville classic is pretty universally considered one of the greats of American literature.

It was therefore suitably awe-inspiring for me to come across Brendan Duffy's Amazon.com review, which gave Moby Dick one out of a possible five stars:

"Herman Melville started writing a great novel but it seems he forgot that he was writing a fiction story about 200 pages in and proceeded to bore the hell out of me with wale biology . . . The last 100 or so pages were really good. I would recommend getting the abridged version if you want to read this."

This . . . this thing of beauty transcends traditional ideas of positive and negative, of criticism and vengeance, of scholar and Philistine. It is not just a Bad Review. It flies in the face of society and humanity and goes for the throat, convention and consequence be damned. It is, ladies and gentlemen, a Bad(ass) Review.

I feel compelled to make a space for these lovely, terrifying enigmas here on the blog. Have you seen any lurking in cyberspace? Have you been on the receiving end? (I once got a rejection that called into question my grasp of the English language.) If so, would you share?


  1. I once read an Amazon.com review that was simply this:

    "I wish I could unread this book."

    I think that's the ultimate badass review.